Two bands — Wilco and the Nappy Roots — will play Spring Fling ’03 on April 28, Yale College Council Spring Fling co-chair Edward Pritchett ’05 said Thursday. Scheduled for the last day of classes, events will begin at 3:30 p.m. and will be followed by a barbeque dinner at 5 p.m.
Nappy Roots will begin the show at 7 p.m. and the show should end by 1 a.m., YCC President Andrew Allison ’04 said. In exchange for hosting the Battle of the Bands, WYBC aired the first details of Spring Fling Thursday afternoon.
In sharing the stage with Wilco, Nappy Roots, a young “hip-rock” sextet, will add a new dimension to the tried-and-trite rock artists of the last few years. The group sold 1 million copies of “Watermelon, Chicken, and Gritz” and received two Grammy nominations.
Wilco, a Chicago-based indie rock group, built itself around Jeff Tweedy, one of the founders of Uncle Tupelo, an early 1990s country rock band. Since it’s 1995 debut album “A.M.,” Wilco has put out an additional five albums and toured with artists such as R.E.M. Most recently, Wilco released the critically-acclaimed album “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.”
Pritchett said the YCC booked two bands in order to attract different segments of the Yale community and obtain the largest possible audience.
“Basically, what we’re trying to do is to have a little something for everyone,” Pritchett said. “The most important thing was how many people would be pleased.”
After conducting a student survey early last semester, the YCC narrowed down the possible choices to 12 bands. The YCC made its final choice based on genre, price and availability. But Pritchett said the preferences of YCC leaders were not ignored.
“I won’t say that the bias of the chairs and the executive board didn’t have any part in the decision, but the final choice was up to me and Lenore [Estrada ’05],” Pritchett said.
Brett Farley ’04 said he was happy with the choices.
“I think it’s really good to have both — the party rap group and the college rock kind-of-arty band,” Farley said. “I’m really excited about Wilco — And we’ve been playing [Nappy Roots] at our parties for a while. It’ll be nice to hear their other stuff.”
But Sylvia Glassco ’05 said neither Wilco nor Nappy Roots suited her tastes.
“I’ve never heard of either of them,” Glassco said. “But I didn’t really care about most of the people on the list anyhow.”
While Brown University can pay to get the likes of Lisa Loeb, a 1990 Brown graduate, and The Wallflowers for their Spring Weekend, the Yale Spring Fling committee was unable to afford such big names.
“Most other bands put us over the budget limit,” Pritchett said. “The logistics of getting two bands to play together and negotiate prices takes more time than usual. I think the only real holdup was getting bands to agree and realize we can’t go over a certain price.”
Allison said the YCC has one of the smallest budgets of Ivy League student governments.
“A lot of that has to do with the residential college system,” Allison said. “The only real comparison you can make is between Yale and Harvard because of the house system. Harvard probably receives $20,000 more a year in their established annual budget.”
Pritchett said the only thing left to fear is a repeat of last year’s Spring Fling, when the scheduled Guster concert was rained out.
“If all of Yale could come together to pray and just ward off the rain, that would be great,” Pritchett said.
But Allison said the YCC has “learned from the past.”
“This year we’re in the process of taking out an insurance policy for the weather,” Allison said. “We’d use the money to fund a similar concert at the start of next year.”